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France's Macron names new environment minister

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France's Macron names new environment minister

French President Emmanuel Macron appointed a new head of the energy and environment ministry as he pursues reforms while his popularity slides.

François de Rugy will head the ministry following the abrupt resignation of environmental activist Nicolas Hulot last week, Bloomberg News reported.

De Rugy, a former Green lawmaker and member of the ruling La République en marche party, was previously speaker of France's lower house.

Macron also named Roxana Maracineanu as sports minister, replacing Laura Flessel, who resigned for personal reasons, Reuters reported.

The cabinet changes come as Macron's poll numbers decline. His approval rating fell 10 percentage points to 31%, Reuters said, citing an IFOP-Fiducial survey released Sept. 4.

Macron has vowed to overhaul the pension system and cut the budget deficit among reforms meant to shore up the economy.

But his moves have also provoked discontent, with critics alleging that Macron's policies favor big businesses and the wealthy, Reuters reported.